Potential DUI Penalties & How to Avoid Them
When facing a DUI charge, it can be stressful not knowing what potential penalties you are facing. Though there are set standards for various circumstances, the courts have quite a lot of power when it comes to adjusting for mitigating circumstances and deciding what penalties they will apply to each individual case. Conversely, the courts and prosecutors can also apply reduced charges, which come with different (typically lesser) penalties than a DUI.
The type and severity of the penalty will be based on a number of factors including whether or not you have had a DUI in the past, how recent your last DUI was, how high your blood alcohol content was, your age, whether you caused property or bodily damage, and much more. The following are some of the most common penalties people receive from a DUI:
- Fines – Almost everyone who is found guilty of a DUI will receive a fine. The fines for a first-time offense range from $300-$1000, and they increase significantly with aggravating circumstances like having multiple DUIs on your record.
- Jail Time – If your BAC was over .08 for a first-time offense, you are required to spend 24 hours in jail. If you are convicted of a first-time offense DUI, you could also receive an additional jail sentence of 10 days to 1 year. Again, jail sentences increase with aggravating factors like multiple DUIs.
- Revoked Driver’s License – The courts and DMV often revoke or restrict the driver’s license of those who have been convicted of (or are even just charged with) a DUI.
- Probation – Just about everyone who is found guilty of a DUI will face probation of some sort. The probation can come with a variety of requirements and can potentially last for years.
- Risk Reduction Program – The courts may require you to attend and complete an alcohol or drug abuse prevention program.
- Vehicle Restrictions – The courts can require that your vehicle be equipped with an ignition lock device that requires you to pass a breathalyzer before your vehicle can be turned on.
- Community Service – Community service is a common punishment, and is sometimes included as part of the probation. The specifics of the service required will vary based on a number of factors.
- Other – Judges can be quite creative when it comes to issuing penalties for a DUI. While they usually stick with the standard punishments listed above, sometimes they will apply something different.
When you are convicted of your third DUI within 5 years you will be considered a Habitual Violator and face extremely severe penalties as a result. This includes a minimum of 15 days in jail and as much as 5 years in jail, not to mention much more significant license suspensions or even revocation.
Reduce or Eliminate Punishments with a Skilled Attorney
As you can see, the potential punishments for a DUI conviction can be very serious, and they can impact your life long after you’ve completed your sentence and paid your dues. DUIs stay on your record for life, and can impact your ability to get a job, get loans, and much more.
The best way to reduce or eliminate these punishments is to fight the charges. The best way to fight these charges is with the help of a skilled DUI attorney. Contact us to schedule a free consultation for your case. We’ll talk to you about all your options, and help put together an effective case based on your situation and your desired outcome.